Using public relations to grow your SME

If you run an SME it's likely you have questioned how you can use PR to increase your visibility in your market space or community.

Many SME owners make the mistake of associating PR work with high operating costs and immediately decide it's something that can't be achieved without a premium price. However, not all PR activity is time consuming or expensive.

We've sourced five easy to complete PR activities that are easily achievable and can propel your business into the public eye.

Nominate for awards

A common misconception about PR is that it's all about media coverage. Winning awards will not only lead to media coverage, but it will also identify the excellent achievements of your business.

These achievements can then be leveraged to customers via your website, shop window, letter head and other avenues. Although the application process can be time consuming, the reward is worth the effort.

Apply as a guest speaker

One way to push yourself into the public eye is by sharing your expertise at one of the thousands of events occurring in your state every week. A good place to start is by identifying topics that are of interest to you and then sourcing events that focus on those particular topics. The event could be a business breakfast, industry forum or even a charity fundraiser, but it's best to try and start small and build your confidence.

Identify yourself to local media

Journalists need something new to write about all the time, so it can be challenging for them to source articles on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

It's a good idea to follow your local news and identify who your local small business writer is. Once you determine the topics they usually write about, you will be able to find an angle that will suit their paper and increase the chance of your story receiving coverage.

A press kit is a great way to attract the attention of small business, click here to find out more about developing a press kit  for your small business.

Share the responsibility

It's important to involve your whole team in the PR process as it's possible they will be able to identify awards, speaking opportunities or media contacts that you haven't yet thought of. During the process you may even uncover a hidden PR talent from one of your staff members and will be able to redefine their role in the business as a result.

Get involved with the community

Community events are a great place to engage in two-way conversations with potential customers and build your public portfolio. Not only do these events provide you with a great opportunity to network, if you do something memorable they will also increase your chances of being covered in local news.

Implementing PR activity in your business isn't impossible. The information above - sourced from Business Think Tank - may seem overwhelming, but you don't have to commit to all this activity at once. Pick one or two areas to focus on as a start and then build on your activity as your success grows.

Interested in learning more? Here are some tips to help you become your own PR practitioner.

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